Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Timing Is Everything

First a sour note. Carmen has her orientation tomorrow at the MGM so I'm meeting her there after she's done to have dinner and play some cards. That unfortunately means no Mookie tomorrow. I'll miss you guys but hopefully the fishing will be good.

Another sour note. I took 33rd in the WWDN, so much for getting over the hump of winning instead of just reaching the final table. First hand after Break #1 my 4xBB raise with KK got called by A2 sooted and the flop came with JQK all hearts. Yep my set of Kings loses to a flopped flush and instead of being in the top 3 I'm on the rail. Now the player that railed me had some big-assed red leaf as his icon which I took to mean he was Canadian so I inquired with Kat if by chance with exchange rates that A2 sooted was maybe some premium hand I didn't know about up in Saskatchewan but she politely said it wasn't. Oh well should have layed it down. Hopefully no Canadians were harmed in my writing of the above.

My timing obviously sucked on that hand which brings me to my take on the scorching hot topic of luck -vs- skill. Now I'm a much bigger believer in timing over anything but I'll stick to the topic at hand.

First, how skillful a player are you? If 10 times out of 10 times you get all your money in with the best hand you're extremely skillful. Five of 10 average. Zero out of 10 take up watching TV. Skilled players get sucked out on and bad players do the sucking out but over the long-haul skill wins this battle. No matter the suck-out rate more skills better results.

Going forward Player A is more skilled than Player B who is more skilled than player C etc.

Player A will shred lesser players post flop. The times Player B sucks out is negated by how many times Player A's hand holds up plus how many times A gets B to fold. Huge Edge A.

Player A can maximize winning and minimize losing on both individual hands and during whole sessions. Give Player A and Player B the exact same hands in the exact same situations. Player A wins $50 but player B only wins $30. Player A loses $30 but player B loses $50. Over a session A wins $500 B wins $300 or A loses $300 but B loses $500. Skill prevails short-term and long-term.

Player A is better than Player B at reading the table and as a result can win by bluffing much more frequently. At the same time those reads enable A to lay down hands that B in incapable of. Advantage skill.

Add just these three factors together and the skillful player makes the money again and again.

Now let's add some timing to the mix and see where it takes us.

Now we all have the luck factor in being dealt our starting hands and most would probably say good luck equals good starting cards bad luck equals bad starting cards right? Not neccessarily.

What if once an orbit you were dealt QQ, KK, AK(Which didn't improve), AA and you ran into KK, AA, 6-6, everyone folded. You had great luck in getting cards but your timing is horrible because your down $300. On the other hand you get 2-5, 2-6, 3-5, 4-7 consistenly for four orbits and your only down $12 for losing blinds. Bad luck for cards but in much better shape than the other guy who had good luck for cards but bad timing.

I really feel that timing is extremely important not only in poker but in everyday life.

An unskilled electrician does some wiring on a house and because of it its inevitable the wiring will cause a fire. Timing is when the fire starts. Is it in the middle of the night when the family is asleep or the middle of the day when nobody is home?

Skill prevails over luck, timing effects both skill and luck. Timing is everything.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

How Quickly We Forget

Man I haven't blogged in a few days and its amazing how quick you get out of the habit. Not many people update their blogs over the weekends and truthfully I miss it. I usually wake up around noon Vegas time make my coffee, check out my fantasy baseball teams, then read about 30 blogs. No such luck on the weekend.

Just because someone only plays No Limit Hold'em doesn't make them a bad poker player. I'm tired of all the garbage posts that try to belittle people who strictly stick with one aspect of poker. IMO there is nothing wrong with being a specialist at one particular poker game or even a one variation of that particular game.(NL Cash vs NL MTTs) Man if you only play cash games NL, or MTTs, or 2-4 limit for that matter so be it. There are specialists in law, medicine, and even baseball. If I have a real estate legal matter I'm going to a lawyer who specializes in real estate law not your common Joe lawyer who is well-rounded but not a specialist. If my liver is about to fail, I'm not going to the Proctologist for an opinion sorry. And if my baseball team needs a save I'm going with the closer, yes another specialist. Play what you like and specialize if you want!

Alright Miami! Lets hope the Heat can dispatch the vastly overrated Pistons in Game 5 so we can have 9 days of rest before we stick it in Mark Cuban's obnoxious booty during the Finals. Dwayne Wade is the MVP. Not Nash, Not LeBron but Wade. Do I smell a prop bet in the final JJ? If Rasheed Wallace was not in the NBA my guess would be prison. Anyone want to bet he has major legal issues within two years of retiring?

I finally signed up for Full Tilt on Friday to take advantage of their 100% signing bonus and I've been playing the 100NL tables and the players are not very good. Yes it's low limit, yes its where I get my practice online for the fish at the MGM but the play is weak. Unfortunately it was me that ran A-A into J-5 sooted, and another A-A into A-To. It was also me who flopped two pair with K-J and ran that into Q-5 losing when 9-T turned and rivered. And yes it was me who flopped the wheel in the SB with 2-4 as 7 were seeing the flop, and yes it was me who re-raised the opening bettor, and yes it was me who re-raised him all-in after he re-raised my re-raise. But alas it was he who turned over Ac-5h on a flop of Ah-3h-5d. Need I say more? Yes runner-runner heart and his 5h makes a flush and I get stacked. All this and I actually made $20 at FT over the weekend. Is the play here always this bad?

As many of you already know, Chris will be here Wednesday and will be joining Carmen SinCity and myself for some live action. Thursday we play in the Caesars Tournament at noon, and Friday the Binions at 2pm. Maybe we'll get Chris to squeeze in some cash action at the MGM too. We'll keep everyone up-to-date and as always Carmen will post only the G rated pictures on her site.

BTW I hit the board again at the DADi last night placing 5th. I'm on a strong run of final tables yet I can't quite get the top prize. The last 5 blogger MTTs I've played my results are 5 final tables, but 4th, 8th, 3rd, 7th, 5th. Maybe I can finally get over the hump tonite at the WWDN or tomorrow at everyone's favorite The Mookie.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Fun Photo Friday

A little photo fun with some of my new friends as we head into the Memorial Day Weekend.

Sadly Mookie again finishes on the bubble thus another week without a haircut.

The real reason Garmeister missed the Mookie on Wednesday.

Sox Lover enjoys the new motif in his home office.

Waffles number one fan eagerly awaits a blog update over the long Memorial Day Weekend.

With no Memorial Day in Canada poor Katitude is all dressed up with nowhere to go.

As his patients wonder what could be casuing the long delay Dr. Iakarias continues with his amazement of Hoyazo Deployment and Strategies.

In this weeks edition of Mullets Okie-Vegas Champion GCox speaks out on his life as a Low Limit Grinder, Successfully playing The Hammer, and Timeless Hair Styles.

And Finally.......

Jordan emerges from the phone booth in preparation for a long weekend at the tables.

Have a Safe and Profitable Weekend Everyone.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Losing and Loving It

Let's do this in reverse order. The MGM as always was full of people giving away money yet last night it was somewhat of a minefield thanks to a few too many discovered hands. Try these on for size.

Two pair J-Q gets gutshotted (is that a word)when 8-10o gets a nine on the river. That cost $180. Trip 5s with the Q kicker gets beat to a flush on the river. That hand cost me $100 and the pot was $500, problem was too many small stacks got all-in and I could get rid of the suck out odds. Then my A-K ran into A-9, which of course would have been more fitting if it ran into the tourist, and another $200 gone when my donkey friend turns a 9.

Now that's nearly $500 on three losing pots but still I only leave down $87. Hey that's life in Vegas at the $1-2NL table. You know I don't even get pissed at bad beats anymore which is growth in itself. Just say good hand and reach into my pocket for more cash. Also as I said the other day, my wins have been of the large variety while the loses have been slight and wins right now are averaging about 4 out of 5 sessions so by no means am I complaining.

The Mookie was a roller coaster ride as my chips went from worst to first to worst to first to 7th. Aggression baby but just a tad too much. When I am 2nd in chips and there are only 12 players left I need to fold DQB! when the 3rd stack re-raises all-in. He had K-K and down I go. Stupid play at a stupid time so 7th place after making an all-star final table. Congrats to JJ on the win, Waffles on 2nd, and Chris on 3rd.

I did have a blast live chatting with many of my new found blogger friends. The interesting part about being new to reading all these blogs is that you get to somewhat know a person first by their writing which throws out the potential visual stereotypes. Now I can attach a voice to about 10 different bloggers which combined with their writing allows for more of the picture to be painted. Now its really going to be a blast when I get to meet them in person when I can see if what I've picture matches their looks.

Fortunately for those in the live chat but unfortunately for Carmen they got to hear the flurry of fucks, and motherfuckers, and asshole when her pocket Aces ran into runner, runner, runner, runner, runner clubs knocking her out. Hang in there baby it was only one bad day.

If nobody knew and how could you not Life is Good! I hope everyone woke up today with a smile on their face and happiness in their lifes.

Stay profitable.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

In the Money

Yes, I sucked out twice. The first one I was all-in with AJ and beat AQ. It was the difference between going home and getting to the bubble spot with 18 players still left. The second time was with A-9 against A-K and was the difference between 6th and 3rd. I'm pleased with my finish but I was looking forward to getting heads-up with the eventual champ Smokkee. We got all the money in pre-flop with my A-K against his 4-4 and he flopped the set that crippled me.

Once I hit my first suck-out I was in 10th place out of 18 and from there I was able to go from T5000 to the lead of T15000 with only having to play two post-flop hands. My table was extrememy tight and I raised at least two times an orbit, sometimes with a hand and sometimes with nothing and it worked to a charm. When I was the BB more often than not it was folded around to me and I was given the free money. I did notice that it was either me and Smokkee being the aggressors and I think thats the main reason we kept building our stacks. It seemed like almost every hand it was he or I raising and we never got into a tangle with each other.

I'm getting the fever again with the MTT action and I'll get a chance to play in some live Tournaments next week with Carmen and Chris. He's flying in next Wednesday and it looks like we are playing at Caesars on Thursday and Binions on Friday. We've even talked about trying to satellite into the Vegas Open which starts one week from Friday. Of course we'll keep everyone up-to-date during his trip and as always Carmen will have the pictures posted on her site.

I love Wednesdays becasue tonite is my personal favorite The Mookie followed by a trip to the MGM for some live action. Maybe tonite is the night we get 46 so the Final Table can get paid. Keep an eye out for that calling station Xanthius, or Smooth Call as Mookie likes to call him. I mentioned to Mook that I'm busting Smooth Call this week but like Rocco Boxer there appears to be a line out the door to get to them first.

The Final Table is usually a mix between Austin and the World but to this week the early line it World 6:5 over Austin and the Over/Under for Austin players getting to the final table is 4. Place your bets people.

See everyone tonite.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Live Action

Tonite I'm looking forward to the weekly WWDN on Stars. After not playing any MTTs for a while I'm getting the feel of Tournament action again and I hope to keep the game improving.

Here's a couple live hands from the fishtank also know as the MGM. The game was 1-2NL with a $200 buy-in.

I'm in seat 9 which I love. 2-3 or 8-9 are by far my favorite seats as you can see everyone at the table when sitting at the end. Most everyone likes the middle so they can see the flop but you don't get a good view of your opponents from there and who watches the flop anyway. Too much info to be gained from watching players rather than cards.

Anyway, there is this 50-year-old guy playing and man was he superstitious. He moved seats four different times trying to find the place where the good cards were going to fall. The guy limped on way too many hands and was a typical calling station. Now he finally got settled in at Seat 10 and twice within a couple orbits he beat me by hitting his second pair on the river. First I had K-Q to his K-4 after a K flopped and the second time I had A-10 to his A-3 when an A flopped.

Now this guy thought he was good which is the funny part because he was flat out horrible. After he sucked out the second time on me I asked him if he finally found the right seat? He sneered and told me yes especially now that he had a bunch of my chips in front of him. I immediately bought back up to the $200 maximum and I was hoping to get a crack at this chump before someone else on the table took him down.

About five orbits later and me having nothing and my friend in seat 10 donking off some of my chips I get Jh-Th on the button. MP, a tight kid who only raised made it $10 to go. I called knowing the 10s would call and that I'd have position on the hand. The flop came 9h-8h-2c and I was stoked, if I hit my draw I'm going to bust this sucker.

BB checks, and MP raises $10 into a $31 pot. I smell weakness, I know BB will call no matter what he has plus I'm on an open-ended straight, a flush, and an open-ended straight flush draw so I'm excited. I call and BB does not disappoint.

Turn is a Qs. BB checks to the raiser, he actually said that, MP doesn't like the Q so he checks, I've hit the straight so I quickly bet $60 hoping the BB has hit some of this board. He of course call and MP folds. River is 5d and BB checks again. I put on the act of indecisiveness and finally shrug and call all-in. Before I can even push my chips the BB yells call and turns over Ac-Qc. TPTK folks. I turn over my cards and say nothing and the guy doesn't even realize he's beat until the dealer counts down my chips to see if I have him covered. The guy goes storming off swearing and I get that certain pleasure from busting a chump who thinks he's got game.

Now immediately the seat is taken by some dude who just took down the SnG at the table right behind us. He had just turned a $60 buy-in into $300 so he was feeling a might cocky from the moment he sat down.

Now the guy played some really iffy hands but he was winning. He pushed two guys off big pots then won another good pot in the SB when his 4h-5h flopped a full house. So now his head is quite noticeably bigger than when he sat down, which I know is hard to imagine, and this internet stallion is probably dreaming about bracelets and women, and his future plans as the 'Poker Champ.'

About 10 hands later I'm SB and Mr. Head is UTG. He calls which starts a chain reaction and soon enough there are four other callers. I have 4d-9d the odds are right and I complete and the BB calls making it 7 to the flop which is 4h-4c-2s. Me and the BB check and Head makes it $15 to go. It folds back to me and I of course call as does the BB. Turn is 8s. Again check, check and Head bets the pot of $60. I smooth call and the BB folds.

The River is a 2d. I check again, and Head pushes his stack, looks me straight in the eye while smiling and announces all-in. I go right into acting mode bow my head and rub my eyebrows with my thumb and middle finger, you know that deep in thought pondering look, all of course for effect. Now it didn't really matter of course I'm going to call him but I asked the dealer for a count while I made sure my hand was indeed the full-house. $303 the dealer says. I announce I call and let Head know I have the four. His eyes get big, the smile slowly turns into a look of disbelief and he screams fuck, loud enough to get the attention of most of the busy room. He kicks his chair and hauls ass out of the room without once turning back, his ego cracked and with the dreams of bracelets and babes. He did leave his 2-6 sooted face-up for everyone to see though.

Now it doesn't always happen like this when you really get to bust weaker players but lately its been happening way more than not. This month the wins have been at least a doubling of the buy-in and the loses have been even or close to even which is a very good sign. Man I love living in Vegas.

See everyone tonite at the WWDN. Stay profitable.

Monday, May 22, 2006

WPBT and Questions Answered

That event was fun. Now I don't usually multi-table as I prefer to play one game and really concentrate on it so last night was quite a challange.

In Game One I went out in 27th when I lost a huge pot to Sir Waffles when he sucked out a gut shot. He called from middle position with 3-3 and I called from the SB with 6-9. Flop came 2-5-6 I bet out $300 into a $450 pot and Waffles goes over the top and raises to $900. I really thought he was trying to make a move on the pot so I re-raised him all-in which he immediately called. Turn was a 2 and the river was a 4 giving him the straight. If I hit that hand I'm top 5 but oh well. I'm glad it was you Waffles and thankfully that wasn't a cash game it would have been hard losing my buy-in to the gut shot.

Game Two I made the final table but went out in 8th when I ran 9-9 into the eventual winner Fat Bald Guy's 10-10. It was a good run and I basically stole my way to the final table. I love these blogger events because the competition is tough and the games move fast. Hey congrats to my boy Hoyazo for hitting the money in both events.

So after an uneventful weekend I'll take a shot at the quiz.

1. What is the biggest mistake people make at a NL table?
Hand Selection. Particularly live I watch so many players get smoked on hands they never should have played to begin with. IMO this is the root cause of so many more problems. If you don't play the crappy hand out of position to begin with you never have figure out where all your chips went.

2. What is the biggest mistake people make at a Limit table?
Not knowing when to fold.

3. Why do you play poker?
I'd like to say for the money or the competition but really it's about trying to master the game and become really good it. I have a strong chess backround and I'm trying to get as in depth with poker as I once was with chess. Yes in Poker luck is involved but over the long haul skill wins out.

4. If you weren't playing poker, what would you be doing?
Definitely playing more golf. Before I got serious about poker I played golf at least 4 days per week.

5. What is your favorite poker book and why?
For theory Harrington. I think he's a world class player and I like his style of play. For Narrative Positively Fifth Street. McManus is brilliant and what a great story.

6. Who is your favorite poker player and why?
Greg Raymer. He's a great player and a class act. Is he about the only guy that knows anything about humility?

7. Which poker player do you dislike the most and why?
Hellmuth because he's a real ass. Farha is a jerk too. I also strongly dislike Annie Puke. Hey Josh Arieh is a cry baby too. Make that players.

8. Do your coworkers know about your blog?
N/A. Sorry sold the business so there are no co-workers, employees, or employers for that matter. Life is good!

9. What is the most you have won in a cash game or MTT (both live and online)?
Cash game: Live-a few racks. I play 5 days a week so I've had some good days. Online-I really only play low stakes for practice so 300+
MTT: Live-Made a nice score at Binions in February finishing 2nd out of 70 players. Online not much because I've only started playing bigger $ MTTs. Hopefully I'll be able to answer that soon

10. What is the most you have lost in a cash game or in one day total (both live and online)?
Live-$340 I remember it like yesterday because it was one of my first few times ever playing. I got all my money in pre-flop and my QQ lost to QJ when the flop came J-J-5. I tilted and lost what I had left when my A high flush got beat by a full house when the board paired on the river. I've gotten much better with bad beats since then.

11. Who was your first poker blog read?
Iggy. It was only a couple months ago and after finding his then seeing all the links and finding out about this blogger world and the Tournaments Carmen and I both started a blog immediately.

12. What satisfies you more, your aces holding up for a big pot or a bluff working for a big pot?
Easily the bluff. I don't think there is a stronger feeling in Poker when you have to fire two bullets at a bluff and your stomach is twisting and turning and your trying hard not to give a tell and your thinking I'm smoked if this player calls. What a relief when that player folds the winner and you're raking in a pile of chips and you had nothing. Hell anyone can play AA, KK, and the nuts.

13. Why do you blog?
It started out to be able to play in the bloggers tournaments and it's turned into a love of the community. Yes I even like some of those crusty old-timer bloggers who are so threatened by all the new blood even though the act like they're not. It's awesome living in Vegas because Carmen and I will get to meet everyone that comes out here.

14. Do you read blogs from an RSS reader like bloglines or do you visit each blog?
I visit each blog. It's much more personal and I like to be able to leave commments.

15. Would you rather play poker for a living than do what you currently do for a living?
Well I sold my business and moved to Vegas and now I actually do play for a living so the answer is yes. Sorry people but I don't believe everyone that says no to this question. You all love poker and spend a tremendous amount of time at it and let's be serious how many people actually like their jobs?

16. Do you wear a tin foil hat on occasion?

17. If you had to pin it down to one specific trait, what does a great poker player have (or do) that separates them from an average player?
Balls. The great poker players are fearless. Patience and Discipline would be 2 and 3.

18. Is Drizz the coolest person on the planet for naming his baby Vegas?
As cool as you can get for living in Minnesota.

19. What is your primary poker goal and are you close to accomplishing it?
To get good enough to regularly compete in the 5-10NL games here in Vegas. Great players and juicy games. I'm not there yet but hope to be within another year.

20. What is your primary online site and why?
Stars I find them to be more of a class act than all the others.

21. What site do you dislike and why?
None I only really play on Stars.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Life Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness

I've read quite a few blogs in the past couple of days refering to freedom of speech, censorship, certain rights in our personal lives and how they supposedly don't overlap with our chosen professions and I figured I would share my thoughts on a potentially touchy subject.

It seems a certain blogger, under cease-and-desist orders from his employer, will no longer be posting a personal blog and it has stirred many a debate. Let me state that I'm very new to the blogging world and yes I have read the above mentioned blogger but I am in no way commenting on him personally, his situation will be used merely as an example of my thoughts on freedom of speech.

Quite simply, the blogger in question was given absolute freedom; he was allowed to choose whether or not to continue with his personal blog or whether to seek other employment. He apparently chose the job.

Freedom is given to us through choices, tens of millions over a lifetime, and what we do with those choices and the consequences there within shapes us as people and gives us the true level of freedom we desire.

If I choose to work for someone else I most definitely give up a tremendous amount of freedom which I wouldn't nearly give up if I chose to work for myself. But my decision might be based on knowing I'll get a check every week instead of the uncertainty of having to build my own business and not getting paid regularly so I'll trade certain freedoms for that security.

If I choose to get married and have children I most definitely give up a tremendous amount of freedom I could have if I choose to stay single. But again I give up certain freedoms in exchange for possible security.

There are millions of examples, debt or liquid, live in Florida or Nevada, play poker or golf, drive a $50K SUV that gets 10mpg or drive a hybrid that gets 100mpg, that factor in my freedom. My choices determine my level of freedom.

Is it wrong that the a certain bloggers employer made him give up his website? I think not, as the choice was given, no different than if the boss called him in and said I love your work but we can only afford to pay you 50% of your current salary and it starts immediately. He is not forced to take the pay cut and he is not forced to take down his website, he merely chooses on two different levels, security or freedom.

There are many employer/employee examples from as minor as dress code to a major as exploitation that can be solved rather easily; quit and get a new job. Again choices.

Now I'm neither right nor wrong in this great debate but fortunately, through my choices, I have the freedom to express myself through this blog. And whomever might read this has, provided they don't have some form of censorship from a workplace firewall, the freedom to agree or disagree with any of my thoughts.

Bottom line is I cherish freedom. I live where I want, I worked for myself, I do not have any children, I'm liquid, I'm taking on the challenge of playing poker professionally and I have this all because of my freedom of choice. And yes I wake up every single day with a smile on my face because life to me is about the pursuit of happiness and man is my live wonderful!

I didn't play any poker today.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hand Results and Wednesday Action

It's 4:45am here in Vegas and Carmen SinCity and I just got back from a session at the MGM. Hope everybody on the East Coast is driving safely right now on their way to work. I got stuck about $200 early tonight when twice I got conterfeited but as usual I grinded back and walked +$180 for 5 hours. My table was tight/weak most of the night and I caught a couple fish when they thought they had the goods but didn't.

Before the MGM I came in 4th at the Mookie for my 3rd cash in 4 weeks. I was card dead for most the night and I bluffed and re-raised my way down to the final two tables. There I got cripple by Darval when he called my bluff and hit the river. I stole a couple of blinds to survive some orbits and finally pushed all-in against Hoyazo with the Hammer against his AK. Flop came 2-3-5 all hearts, turn was a blank, and the river was a King of hearts giving him the top pair and me the flush.

I got moved to balance the tables and doubled up against the chip leader Drew's Pop when my KK held over his QQ. I started getting cards and worked my way up to T26,000 making the final table then the money before blowing a couple hands and finishing in 4th. As always the Mookie was a blast really a home game played online.

Okay lets finish the hand history from yesterday. I folded end of story. Can you believe that? I didn't think so.

Picking up the hand with;

muledog: checks
MiamiDon: bets $8
Aart13: raises $42 to $50
Ede_Kowalski: folds
muledog: folds

Now I went into the tank hard. The two things I was worried about right away was a set or of course the flush but I just couldn't understand such a big bet if his hand was made. If he had the set and raised that high and I did have the flush he's dead so I ruled that out first so now does he have a flush or is he drawing to a flush.

I really think if he had the flush he would have come over the top to $16 or $24 and seriously if he made that type of raise I probably would have folded but $42? It started more and more to smell like he was drawing. Now two pair is usually the kiss of death to this type of flop and I was thinking is this worth it or should I just pick another spot.

Finally I think he has something like KcTx, KcQx, QcJx, QcTx. I cursing myself for that stupid raise to $3 but this is what happens sometimes when you do that small raise thing. So finally as my clock runs down I make this move.

MiamiDon: raises $41.50 to $91.50 and is all-in.

Let's see what he's got? If he's not made will he still call or is he pot committed. Immediately I get,

Aart13: calls $41.50.

Now my thoughts are I'm screwed he has the flush, no way he calls all-in without it. I'm thinking what a bonehead move on my part but I'm still puzzled to his raise with a made hand. I didn't though have long to sweat it though because of this.

*** TURN *** [Tc 4c Ac] [Td]
*** RIVER *** [Tc 4c Ac Td] [6s]

Full House baby. Now I hope he doesn't have a flush because I want my read to be right instead of looking like some big donkey and here it is.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
MiamiDon: shows [Ah Th] (a full house, Tens full of Aces)
Aart13: shows [Qc Jc] (a flush, Ace high)
MiamiDon collected $193 from pot

Nope I completely butchered the read but thankfully I got the results. Now obviously it doesn't matter what the guy did becasue I drew out on him but I still for the life of me can't figure out his big re-raise. Man smooth call, or mini-raise but $50? I definitely bet out when I have a good hand but not so much that I possibly scare an opponent off a hand.

Oh well I've been getting very good results lately, my reads have been tight, my hand selection for the most part has been very controlled but occasionally I blow it and usually I pay, luckily this time I caught a winner.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hand Analysis Time

Alright Miami! Get rested for those scumbag Pistons.

My WWDN finish was 21st yuk. I made a mistake playing heads up as the SB against the BB that crippled me to T900 and I then went card dead. I was actually able to steal blinds once an orbit for seven orbits with nothing more than a K high which kept me around longer than I should off. When I finally got and Ace I pushed A-10 and lost to A-J. Oh well, one mistake and shit cards and that its all she wrote.

Okay we've been having so much fun with hand analysis that I'll give an interesting hand I had today in a cash game. I'm very intersted in hearing the feedback. Unfortunately I don't have a Power Point presentation like my friend Hoyazo so we'll do it old school.

Seat 1: anothermoron ($38.35 in chips)
Seat 2: pieNchips ($36.50 in chips)
Seat 3: MiamiDon ($94.50 in chips)
Seat 4: Aart13 ($103.05 in chips)
Seat 6: Ede_Kowalski ($27.80 in chips)
Seat 7: muledog ($16.90 in chips)
Seat 8: jerseygene ($43.45 in chips)
Seat 9: bueno09 ($111.90 in chips)
muledog: posts small blind $0.50
jerseygene: posts big blind $1
ahyums: sits out
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to MiamiDon [Ah Th]
bueno09: folds
anothermoron: folds
pieNchips: folds
MiamiDon: raises $2 to $3
Aart13: calls $3
Ede_Kowalski: calls $3
muledog: calls $2.50
jerseygene: folds

From middle position I make a 3xBB raise. I have a marginal hand here hence the reason for the small raise. I picked this up playing live at the MGM and the purpose is to get some action from a few other players with marginal hands and try to make some money by outplaying them post flop which of course has potential risks. If anyone has a high pocket pair they usually re-raise so its an easy hand to muck if needed but what usually happens is we get 3-5 players, which is what happened here.

*** FLOP *** [Tc 4c Ac]
muledog: checks
MiamiDon: bets $8

So I flopped top two pair but I'm staring at three clubs. Now with four players this could get interesting and especially for me as I hit the flop hard. I bet 2/3 the pot as a feeler bet more than a continuation bet. I'm anxious to try and find out if anyone might have a flush or flush draw or maybe even an Ace.

Now I don't want to overbet this pot even to reduce drawing odds because quite frankly I want to make more money than the $12.50 in the pot and I'm willing to gamble that my 65% will hold up if someone is drawing to the flush. If a club hits on the turn I get out and if not I then overbet taking away odds but hoping to get action with the temptation of a juicy pot. Also if someone caught and Ace they might come along for the ride too. So I've weighted out the risk reward factor and I'm hoping to get this pot up to $50-$70 and take it down or again be able to get away somewhat cheaply.

Well here comes the shock factor.

Aart13: raises $42 to $50
Ede_Kowalski: folds
muledog: folds

The questions now are 1. How do you think I've played the hand so far? 2. With this huge re-raise what could this player possibly have? 3. What should my response be to his re-raise?

I'm really looking forward to see some thoughts here. I went into the tank using almost all my allotted time before I made my decision. I'll update later and I'll give you my thought process and the hand results.

I'll see everone tonite at my favorite online event The Mookie.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tourney Time

So I lied, somewhat, well I changed my mind really. I played in a tournament last night. I'm aware that I said strictly cash games and that I also said no matter what that I wasn't going to play anymore SnGs but playing in the bloggers events and reading about so many bloggers getting deep into tournaments has given me the fever.

Now here in Vegas cash games are still king, they pay the bills and allow for chances to play in satellites to big tournaments so I figured why not give it a shot. I can't deny that I do like playing tournaments especially live and I've actually cashed in a few here, the biggest being a 2nd place in a 80 person event at Binions, and well for as little as $200 you can Super Satellite into WPT and WSOP events so why not.

Last night I played in the Stars 19:45 $10 + $1 with 1400+ entrants. Yes I know it's a small buy-in but it's a start. I actually play way more aggressive in tournaments than cash games because the risk doesn't cost you your real money stack and I actually had good results and finished in 91st place. Unfortunately my cards got ice cold when the tourney became a push fest and I wound up bleeding to death. It would have been nice to get some cards to see how far I could have gotten but oh well. During the middle stages of the tourney I played super aggressive and at one time got into the top 20 with no cards better than AQ. I'll need to remember that if I advance into the middle stages tonight in the WWDN and Wednesday in the Mookie.

I miss my girl Carmen SinCity as she tries to adjust to working the graveyard. We'll spend a ton of time together Wednesday and Thursday with the Mookie and live MGM action both nights. Hang tough girl and remember, like poker, its the playing the cards right and the long-term results.

See everyone tonight.

Monday, May 15, 2006

It's Heating Up

All the "experts" who predicted New Jersey would beat Miami, especially after they blew the Heat out in Game 1, can now jump off the bandwagon and get ready for Detroit-Miami II. Miami is clearly a better team than New Jersey and man is Vince Carter just about the perfect example of what is wrong with today's basketball. Dave Hyde from the Sun-Sentinel summed it up micely.

Carter also reverted to who he is: A great scorer who shrinks in great moments and doesn't improve his teammates.

Carter's response: "I shot 50 percent, so ... " and that was after Game 3. No quotes from Carter pertaining to Game 4 after he missed two critical free throws mid way through the 4th quarter that would have given the Nets their first lead since the first quarter or his four misses and two turnovers shortly thereafter. Let's go Heat.

Man did they drag out the finale of Survivor. They took maybe two hours worth of show and drug into 3.25, it was brutal. Also Danielle had no business making the final two as she did absolutely nothing for 36 days but get lucky not to get voted out. No matter who she picked you knew it was going to be a lopsided jury vote. Cirie was the my favorite and her transformation was beautiful to watch. We all should learn from her.

Remind me why I hate SnGs? I played in my first SnG today in about three weeks and it was awful. Sorry I know a lot of people play these and make money but where is the skill? I'm being serious. The whole game is either push all-in pre-flop or push all-in after the flop with APAK.(Any pair any kicker) No body tries to outplay the others just push, push, push and check the winning bingo balls. I now can see why the pros talk about longer blind structures and how they favor skill over luck because you actually get to see some post-flop play. I can also see why a lot of the pros bash the WPT for sellling out to TV and ruining the blind structures in the late stages of big money events. Push or go home.

My SnG was brutal. Tight play and once the blinds got the the sixth level and we still had seven players left it became a push monkey show. 7 players within T800 of each other and we didn't see a flop for almost 30 hands it was pathetic. I got crippled calling someones A-4 all-in with 5-5 when magically the A appeared. If anyone sees me playing another SnG anytime soon please remind me that I'm wasting both time and money.

I had one of those days Saturday that could have been disasterous, and it was for a long time but I fought back and finished only losing a small amount. I had QQ, QQ, KK, and got zero action when I raised pre-flop. I lost with KK to A-J with an A-J-5 flop. I got AA all-in twice, once against QQ and once against 66 and both times lost to sets. After the second time I took a short walk, cleared my head, again re-bought and stayed positive. I caught KK again and raised pre-flop and got two callers. Flop came K-Q-9 and we got all in three ways with my KK against A-9 and QQ. So I got a set over set and actually the fourth King came on the river for quads. If I would have lost that hand to another set I would have gone slightly insane but thankfully the Quads held up and I dug out of a big hole.

Now I really can't complain but I had a very good card day and I still wound up losing. So much of this game is timing and mine was certainly off Saturday. I got QQ twice, KK three times and AA twice and I lost. Some days you go card dead and break even because you're never in many big pots and somedays you either outplay people with average cards or the average cards hold up and you walk away a winner by getting the right pots at the right times. So now where I used to say skill and some luck play a part in being successful at poker now I won't forget to mention that timing is a big factor as well.

This should be a fun week as Carmen SinCity and I are going new car shopping (for her) and I plan on hitting MGM Wednesday through Saturday so I should log at least 30 and probably closer to 40 hours of live poker. I can't wait.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and stayed profitable.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Afternoon Delight

I can't believe I fell for it. Cerie and Danielle both know they will tie at Tribal Counsel and they both are getting instruction on how to make fire because it's a certainty that making fire will be the tiebreaker. So they get their guidelines from Jeff Probst and the then the dreaded....To Be Continued....I felt like I got sucked out on.

Oh well Sunday night looks like I'll start with Sopranos at 6, Big Love at 7, and Survivor at 8. I'll even find time to cook Carmen Sincity some dinner before she heads into work for 11pm.

Speaking of Cerie, I don't know how many of you watch Survivor but her message is outstanding. She's said a few times now that up to this point in her life she has underestimated herself and her abilities. Powerful stuff. Since she's made it so far in this show she has proven, most importantly, to herself that she is capable of so much more in her life. She's always settled, been somewhat lazy and unmotivated, basically caught in the grips of fear but no longer. It's a life lesson we can all learn.

I had a nice afternoon on Stars today while Carmen got orientated with the Red Rock. Made $71.18 an hour playing cash games for the $100NL buy-in. I've actually found a nice time to hit the tables and it's been nothing but juicy games lately. Here's what has been working.

I get ready to play and start cruising the tables between 1:00-1:30 pdt which most of you might not have the luxury of. It's 4:00 or so East Coast time which I guess is when the first wave of workers and students start firing up their computers. Now the game selection at this time is tight meaning there are about 15-20 full games running with most having a waiting list. What I look for is a new table that gets started slowly with usually with 2, 3, or 4 players going at it. I pull the game up and check out the stack sizes of the players already playing and those who are entering and I wait until there gets to be about 8 players before I join.

Usually at least 7 or 8 players buy in with the minimum of $40 and when I notice the table starting like this I make sure I get in fast with the full buy-in. Then I play aggressive and try to devour the small stacks as quickly as possible. Now the danger is that some of these players are calling stations and they can river hands but with me playing decent staring cards and using aggressive betting I can usually take control of the table.

Another issue is the multi-tablers.(MTs) I'm getting the game fresh but the MTs notice the pot sizes and Hands per hour and within about 30 minutes each seat that becomes available is taken by one of the MTs. Once it gets to 4 MTs I bolt and start the process over.

I don't have any problem playing with MTs but I only like two or three at my table and I absolutely prefer them on my right. One of the benefits of MTs is the are easier to read than Dr. Suess. They bet with good hands and fold with not so good hands making it nice not having to read three players at the table. Plus when you flop a set they are incapable of reading the table and if they have say QQ with a board of 9-5-2 and you have 5-5 in the hole than you can take their whole stack. But I prefer no more than three per table.

So for 3 hours on most weekday afternoons I've been able to play somewhat mindless poker and I've been able to keep building my online bank roll and I'm getting to see a lot of hands which will help with the reads and plays in my live game action at the MGM. I find this to be a great way to get the experience needed as I try to climb the ladder.

I got a lot of positive feedback yesterday and it was nice to see. To add to what I wrote I keep meticulous records on all my play broken down by both online and live. I've always been a statistics finatic since I started watching baseball as a four-year old and it helps to this day. I have it broken down by cash, tournament, SnGs, days, time length, etc. so if you asked me for my tournament record both live and online for Tuesdays and Thursdays I can have it for you in minutes, all from self-made spread sheets. I find this information as vital as bankroll management and my bottom line is $$ per hour.

As for bankroll management I've read a few good books with probably the most important one being Professional Poker: The Essential Guide to Playing for a Living by Mark Blade. Fortunately enough for me I have more bankroll cushion than recommended which I don't think can hurt. We'll see as some time progresses.

Right now my thoughts are on money management, discipline, patience and hand selection. I'm confident that if I keep these mind I can continue to progress.

Stay Profitable.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Had a great time at the Mookie last night even though I donked out early again. Small stacked I went all-in with AQ after UTG +1 3xBB raise only to run into Smokkee in the BB with QQ. Two blogger events two donks. Congrats to Surflexus on his bac-to-back wins. Very impressive man.

Well Carmen Sincity has decided that not working was getting to be too much of a chore so she took a full-time job at the new Red Rock Casino. She'll have to start for at least the first 90 days working the graveyard shift which is both good and bad. I don't usually get to bed until after 2am anyway and she'll miss the 110 degree days while she's sleeping but this also leads to other possibilities....

....meaning I might start playing poker full-time. Now I haven't been playing serious poker for too long and right now I'm only playing 1-2NL cash games but based on a number of different circumstances I really think I'm going to give it a go.

I've talked to numerous regulars from the MGM; dealers, managers, 1-2 players, 2-5 players and there is definitely money to be made. The regular 1-2NL players make an average of $1500 a week playing rock style no brain poker against the tourists. The 2-5 game is a lot more work because it's mostly locals moving their way up the poker ladder trying to make money playing cash games to satellite into the many Vegas Tourneys. So you have to start somewhere right?

As for me I have a healthy bankroll right now. I sold a business at the end of last year for a decent chunk of change and I still get a full salary and benefits until the end of 2006. I have an opportunity to work through the lower levels and see if I can improve enough to move up the ladder. Truthfully I have no goals to be a WSOP Champion but if I could grind out 50K a year playing poker than I think life can be very good. Seeing how some of these regulars, who are at best average card players, make $1500 a week gives me serious hope that it can be done.

With Carmen working the graveyard, I'm going to start playing from like 7pm to 4am three or four days a week and see how I can do. So far playing part-time I'm up for the year and every month as I get more comfortable my hourly rate is increasing so I feel like the time is now. And hey if it doesn't work out I can always go start the same business I sold in Florida and have it up and running and profitable in less than 90 days.

I've always been somewhat of a risk taker throughout life and I've failed in some things and I've succeeded in others but I do know, for me, life is about being happy. If your job sucks get a new one, spouse wants you to stop playing Poker bye-bye, hate where you live then move, really we control our own happiness and hopefully fear or comfort won't keep anyone from realizing their dreams. Real estate is cheap in Vegas, jobs are plentiful, the weather is beautiful, the poker rooms are full of fish, maybe the time is right to live the dream and take a shot in Sin City. I know life gave me an opportunity to give it a try and I'm glad I took it. I don't ever want to look back and say I wonder what would have happened if......

We're all gamblers at heart. Stay profitable.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Carmen Baby

Well Carmen SinCity finally got off the bubble tonight in the Weekly WWDN finishing in 4th place. After her three bubbles last week I was preparing to take a little vacation with our dog Lucy if she was unfortunate enough to bubble again tonite but thankfully all is well and the three of us will be sleeping in the bed tonite. Good job baby, very impressive.

I donked out in 61st place after first not betting enough on a bluff that would have gotten my opponent to fold and then running AK into KK. One bad thing about so many cash games is that my blooger tourney performance is very inconsistent. It's been either in the money or busting out early.

Speaking of my beloved cash games I got cracked hard Monday night when I ran my AA into the ever powerful 7-9o. That was a $105 ass-whipping but hey what are you going to do. I go my money in with by far the best hand but it got beat. Today though I had Pocket 3s against some multi-tablers AK. Flop was 3-8-K, turn was an Ace we got all-in and I picked up $98 to make up for the aces getting crack. Hey JJOK have I mentioned I love the cash games. Speaking of JJOK we got the same table yet again tonite. Any odds we are seated together again tomorrow?

I'm not sure if this is old news or not but wtf is this? On June 7th It will be a Class C felony to play online poker in the state of Washington? I thought this was one of those blue states full of hippy tree hugging liberals, with their homeless outreach programs and safe shelter for their thousands of heroin addicts and meth heads? An adult having sex with an eight year old will now be deemed as equal to playing Poker Online. What an absolute joke. Carmen and I were thinking about a trip to Seattle this summer but now no way. That state will never see a nickel of mine. God I'm glad I live in Nevada.

Wednesday night I'm looking forward to the Mookie which is like an online home game. Plenty of good chat and tons of laughs. Right now the odds for the Champion is even money on Austin -vs- The World.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Fight Night and the Week that Was

What a great weekend! Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby, Mayorga-De la Hoya, man the MGM was packed and it was electric. What a great weekend to be in Vegas, well they are all good this one just happened to be a little more special.

Friday Carmen Sincity and I got down to the MGM around 3pm and it was already rocking. We even had a short wait to get on the tables but once we did it turned into a 10 hour session.

Now check this out I bought in for $200 took a bad beat along the way and bought back in for another $120 to get my stack back to the max. Took another two bad beats and got down another $100 before hitting a couple late pots toward the end. I cashed in my chips and received $320. That's right I broke out exactly even. 10 hours of poker and dead-assed even. I've never done that before.

It was one of those could have been should have been nights where I make a big score but no such luck. I made a great read with pocket 7s and put a guy all-in only to see runner runner hearts to lose to a flush. I raised $20 pre-flop with AK and saw a board of K-Q-2. I bet $60 and got called. Turn was another Q and the guy bet into me for $100. I went into the tank and layed the hand down thankfully. He turned over Q-J to save me the rest of my stack. I also had KK lose when a 7 turned giving the biggest fish at the table a set. We were all-in for what was left of his stack so that also could have been much worse.

Now these three loses came from the three biggest fish ever assembled on one table. They wound up losing $500, $700, and $900 respectively and I lost to all three. Now when I say could have been, I never had the cards to beat any of these three so that was lost profit but when I did have the cards and took the bad beats, they were short stacked on two of the occasions so my losses could have been even higher. So when I left for the night mentally I felt good knowing I played well and tomorrow was another day.

Saturday we got there around 1pm and made a couple of losing wagers on the Derby before we got down to business. The casino was electric, tons of people screaming on the race, the Lakers game, then getting ready for the fight. I played at a table with three other good players and the rest was a merry-go-round of bad players. The four of us stayed out of each others way and isolated the fish one at a time. The cards fell right and before I knew it five hours into the day I turned my $200 buy-in into $750. So what did we do, stay and keep playing? No way!

Carmen took a brutal loss on a four way all-in $800 pot when her full house, which beat two flushes lost to a higher full house on the river. It was a case of the suck re-suck. She had pocket 7s flopped a 7 to lead KK and got smoked when the river came with another King. So with my winnings, her breaking even after this tough loss, we got out of Dodge and went and ate a great surf and turf dinner. I would have liked to stay but with all the craziness-to-be post fight I figured get out alive.

Anyway I talked previously about my game leaks and I think I got them fixed as I had my best week ever since I started playing poker more seriously. I played the $100NL max buy-in on Stars to the tune of $48.23 an hour and my live play including my 10 hour break even session resulted in $51.43 per hour. Now thats what I averaged at each for the whole week so for almost 30 hours I played I made nearly $1500. Let's hope that keeps up.

So for now except for the blogger events it's Goodbye MTTs and SnGs and hello cash games. Hand selection and patience have paid off in a big way!

Hope everyone have an enjoyable and profitable weekend.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Yes I love Survivor and yes it's the original Reality TV show. This Exile Isle season is awesome as we get down to the final four. Terry can't be beat but I don't see him winning when the Jury votes.

I love the NBA Play-offs. The regular season drags big time but it really heats up once we get to May. Go Heat!

In going to place a few small wagers Saturday on the Kentucky Derby. Point Determined at 12-1 is my pick. I'll play him straight up and I'll try and find a few bombs to pair with him in the exacta.

It's fight night Saturday at the MGM so that means a packed house and plenty of fish. Carmen SinCity and I hope for a 10 hour session on Friday and a 12 hour session on Saturday. Yes it's good to be us.

Speaking of Carmen, she's bubbled in 3 Blogger Tourneys in two nights and she's pulling her hair out. Growing pains in Poker can sometimes be tough.

I was getting frustrated going through a card dead period that caused some leaks to appear in my game and that also tested my mental state. I'm sitting eating a burger taking a break and something kind of clicked about the leaks and so far so good with my play lately. Something else big happened that night as I looked back. One decent player at my table had the worst luck I've ever seen. He got all-in preflop on two occasions, once with QQ against KK and once with KK against AA. He lost with trips King Kicker to trips Ace kicker. His lost with a lower full house to a higher full house. He lost when he flopped a set only to run into a higher set, I've never seen anything like it. The guy finally left the table probably down a grand, obviously frustrated and ready to commit murder yet he didn't complain. Not a word. I said to the guy sitting next to me, "I'll never complain again." So far I haven't. I hope I always remember that day. Remember it could always be worse.

I'm reading four books right now, all on Poker of course, one being The Tao of Poker. I came across something today and that stuck out and it's a lesson I've learned playing live cash games.

Rule 189: Bad players who are betting away with great confidence on marginal cards are sometimes the hardest players to play against.

From this I've learned patience and how to throw a hand away. I've learned that sometimes no matter what these players won't fold and they'll suckout on the river. I've learned that sometimes conventional strategy doesn't work against these players and I have to adjust my thinking to their level. I've also learned when I can push a lot of my chips in the middle and come away with a big stack of their chips although some days it never happens. Hand selection, Patience, and leave the ego at the door.

Stay profitable!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hot Start to May

First of all a big Thank You to The Mookster for another awesome Tournament. Give this man some props as he's definitely the host with the most. He plays, he mingles with all five tables, he keeps a live blog of all the action, and best yet he finishes in the money. Awesome display man!!!

Congrats to Surflexus for the win and a fine showing. I got to play with him most of the night and he was down to T230 at one point and man he kept grinding back. His play shows you're never out of a tournament no matter what your stack size is.

Well I hit the money for the second straight week in The Mookie with a 4th place finish and I was very pleased. My night ended when I called JJOK's all-in bet with 6-6. He turned over A-J and promptly hit the Ace on the flop and my night was done.

JJOK and I had quite a battle all night as we played together on two tables before we even got to the final table. We started on the same table with him two to my right, we met again at another table with him two to my left, and then at the final table he was directly on my right.

Now JJOK is one of my favorite bloggers because he, like me, concentrates mostly on cash games, so it's fun to be able to cut loose together in a blooger tourney. We were raising and re-raising each other all night long up to and including my final hand. JJ it was a blast and I know you had two pair when I laid down my AK after that flop came K high!

I do know I have to work on my middle game when I'm playing these tourneys. Playing so many cash games I don't need to worry about blinds increasing and sometimes it causes me to tighten up too much when I should be stealing, particularly when the tables get so tight as we get closer and closer to the bubble. I made sure though that once we got to the final table I was going to be aggressive. I raised all-in on a couple of occasion after limps and 3xBB raises and it paid off safely getting me past the bubble.

One aspect of my game that I was proud of was making 3 laydowns including laying down KK pre-flop to AA. These are plays in the past where I would have pushed too hard and wound up on the rail but with so much time spent in cash games lately I'm seeing the table better, learning more about probe betting, and learning to live to fight another day. Now this doesn't mean I will get pushed off of hands easily but I'm much more in tune to betting patterns and player recognition which helps decide what move I need to make.

Anyway I warmed up for the Mookie playing a $.50-$1.00 NL cash game on Stars and hit a $264 pot. Six players called a $3 UTG raise so I found value playing my 4-4 . The flop came A-A-4, turn came 5, river came 3. Now like my friend Hoyazo I slow played this hand and finally got all-in against what turned out to be a the Wheel and a Flush. I was slightly nervous of running into an Ace high full house but I wanted to try and milk this hand for all it was worth, which luckily I did.

I mentioned the other day that I might have found a leak in my game and that I was anxious to repair it and see the results. Well three days into May and I'm nearly $600 to the good already. Let's hope it continues. Saturday is the Kentucky Derby and the DeLaHoya fight, the later which will take place on my home turf at the MGM Grand so I look for lots of fish to be swimming all day. I'm hoping to have a big day so Carmen SinCity and I are planning for a 1pm arrival and probably a 12 hour session, depending on the fish.

Speaking of Carmen, unfortunately she was the bubble girl in the Mookie, when Mookie himself hit a Jack on the River to send her to the rail. Now we all know how awesome Mookie is but check this out, he sent Carmen $11 so she can free roll in next weeks event. Again your awesome Mookie!

I love Wednesday nights! Stay profitable everyone.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

WWDN losses and MGM Wins

Back to the regular Tuesday night WWDN with all sorts of excitement. 65 players and sure enough Carmen SinCity and I wind up at the same table. There are no laptops at our spot, we're a two desktop family so not only are we seated at the same table but we're seated at the same table.

That's our office. Me on the left Carmen on the right. So we had to turn our monitors away from each other and promise not to cheat. Actually though we didn't need this set-up for too long though because Carmen was the second player eliminated when her AA ran into the mighty 88. The eights hit for a set, they both got all-in and Carmen left in a huff. I also won the prop bet and Carmen got to blow off steam/take our dog Lucy for her walk.

I won a few decent pots then started bleeding to death as my cards were horrible but I did pull a first. On the button with about 1500 left blinds 75/150 and my boy Mookie raises to 450. I look down and see "The Hammer" and figure now is the time. I had never yet partaken in dropping this all powerful hammer but here we go. I move all-in and Mookie goes into the tank. He finally folds and I turn over my first ever all-in Hammer followed by what I can only imagine to be shrieks of joy. Hammer gets typed into the chat box six times and now I finally feel the power. Yea so I ran my full house into quads to finish in 25th but I got away with the Hammer.

Now Carmen had the Jones for more Poker after her 64th place finish so we put some clothes on and drove down to the local fishtank otherwise known as the MGM for some live Tuesday action. As a mentioned a few days ago I had spotted some small leaks in my game so I was ready to take a test run and start putting some winning sessions together again.

The room is dead so we wind up sitting at the same table again, me in S4 her in S9. Much to our pleasure we find the biggest fish of all sitting in S7 throwing her chips around. Now this chic was fairly attractive, half-buzzed, and she couldn't keep her mouth shut. Typical 25 year old chic who acted cooler than she really was but deep down very insecure, the have to be the center of attention type. She was the player I've seen a long time and the whole table was hoping to get in a hand against her.

Now she played almost any two cards and she rarely folded even when re-raised but she did, at times, have the goods or pulled some huge rivers. She even busted a couple of short stacks and she also made a big score when she rivered a straight flush but still it was money for the taking.

I caught KK and raised to $15 and got her and another caller. The flop came 4-6-6 and I fired $50. She re-raised me all-in. Oh shit dilemma time. Either she has a 6 or she was just posturing for the Alpha female role but no way I was folding. If she's got the 6 then I lose my stack and eat a bunch of shit and if not I nearly double up. I call, she mucks.

Man it was a feeding frenzy. She doubled up three others and wound up dumping about $900 in 90 minutes. Poor Carmen was card dead and missed the feeding.

Anyway I flopped a flush against some dudes set then I bluffed a guy off of K-J with TT when the flop came K-7-4, and the turn brought another 7. I bet the flop he called, I put him all-in after then turn and he went into the tank and finally folder thinking I had A-K because of my pre-flop raise.

Anyway I'm back! 3.5 hours of live action showed a profit of $354. I'm hoping I got the leaks fixed so I can really turn a nice profit in May. I don't want to get ahead of myself but I'm reading Mark Blake's book, "Professional Poker: The Essential Guide to Playing for a Living," and I'm thinking of giving it a go. More will be revealed.

I'll see everyone tonite at the Mookie.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day

No visits to the Strip today due to about 100K Protestors. I am interested in how the walkout will affect the casinos.

I had one of those weekends where I really did nothing. Carmen SinCity and I met up with GCox Friday for the Sahara Tournament. Best cards I saw all day was K-9 sooted so I bled to death and came in 19th. Carmen and Gary also had little in the way of cards and finished in 14th and 15th. The three of us played at the MGM afterwards which was short and sweet. Gary only had a couple of hours so Carmen and I stuck around after Gary left.

I was so card dead that I actually got out the I-Pod. Usually I enjoy the table banter but I was getting so frustrated that I needed the music to keep myself calm. I folded 62 hands in a row at one point. Yes I was bored so I counted. I also played a game I named "Find A Black 7." I did really well at that game because a black 7 continually was the first card I saw in my hole no less than 15 times during the 62 consecutive folds. This gives me hope though because some day in the probable distant future I'm going to look down and find a red A every three hands and depending upon it's mate I might have a sizzling hot day.

I love the NFL Draft. I spend all day Saturday watching the draft, digging deep into my fantasy baseball teams, (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd so far) and checking out some NBA play-offs. A much needed day of rest....until we decided to check out the Red Rock Poker Room at about 9pm.

We played about 5 hours and I showed a very small profit but I really feel like something clicked. We had to wait about an hour for a seat so I spend my time looking for the guy with the Glass Eye and watching the big boys play 5-10NL.

This game has no maximum buy-in and the cash plays so the mountain of chips and $100 bills was amazing to me. For as much money as these guys had on the line the game was really friendly. The players openly discussed hands and betting patterns so I was close enough to see the cards and hear the talk. I do know that I have neither the knowledge nor the balls to go anywhere near that table other than to watch.

My session was up and down and at about 1am we decided to split a fat burger. It was there over some small talk that, as I mentioned earlier, something kind of clicked. I noticed a small leak in my game and was anxious to get back to the table and see if I could do something with it. My stack was down to about $100 and in the last hour that we played I managed to leave with $223.

I had been running very well until the last few sessions and I'm convinced what happened was I was lulled to sleep by any squeaky tight tables. When 7 limpers are all seeing a flop it made me kick in my $2 with a much too wide range of cards. So now between the $2 adding up and the -EV when I did hit my flop with crappy cards I was starting to play LuckBox (losing) Poker.

In that last hour or so I started raising in position to eliminate the limpers, raising with proper starting hands to isolate, re-raising lame bets that smelled of weakness after the flop, and really getting back to my TAG style of play. I didn't win any huge pots because of this but all the small and mid-sized pots added up quickly.

Looking back I had started to become what I hate, a tight-weak player. No more. Most of the 1-2NL games here in Vegas are soft and to adapt to certain table styles was a mistake. Thankfully it only took a few bad sessions to figure this out and I look forward to getting back to the felt and start being a winning player again.

It's all about starting hands and position and I will not forget that.

Hope everyone had a profitable weekend. See you at the tables.